Bloodthirsty people are much the rage these days. I dare say, passé. Just look at the explosion of pubescent pale lusting vampires and their beguiled, love-torn victims. They, like the characters in Harry Potter, managed the unmanageable in our Twitter generation: captivation in a book. And not even a book: a series. The Twilight Series first came out in 2005 and quickly paved the way for fanged friends to enter our day-to-day vernacular. Of course, it was instantly followed by a barrage of cheesy copycats and, inevitably, it arrived in a theatre near you. On television the theme seems to have gone viral. Enough already! Aren’t we sick of vampires yet?
It would seem not. Not even on a dusty, windy, forgotten road in Mexico, heading west from Zamora to Guadalajara. You can find them there. The make-up may not be as good but the special effects are even better.
We were first intrigued by the flaccid vampire look-alike blowing in the wind.
“Stop!” Our energetic kids demanded in naïve delight. “There’s a vampire there, stop!”
Expecting nothing more than just another Kodak moment for the books, Husband and I pulled over, albeit a bit intrigued by the avid dedication to Halloween emanating from the tiny street stand in the middle of nowhere with a vampire.
The stand ended up being a make-shift bar, promising this local drink called “Vampiro” I had never heard of (and I am a proud graduate of the Columbia University Mixology class!) Being the lightweight drinker that I am, my stiffest drink is usually compromised by a hearty Cabernet. But this I had to try.
Ernesto, the dusty-road bartender, produced a gallon-sized plastic bag and swiftly filled it with a dizzying array of ingredients.
He poured precise measurements into my bag and then shook it fervishly, wrapping the whole bundle up with tape after deftly inserting a thick straw in a tiny aperture left on top. My red I.V. was handed to me and I took a bloody gulp.
Sweet, salty, spicy and sour danced in my mouth at once, giving me enough chance to feel slightly giddy and yearn for more. The bag felt chilled in my hand and wobbled deliriously as I slurped at my cocktail. Slurping would turn out to be a mistake, making me grateful I wasn’t in charge of handling the acute curves our impending drive promised.
Husband looked at me with concern and jealousy. He knew I was no more than a wine wimp and here I was coddling with Vampiro a bit too heavily.
“Hand it over,” he grumbled. “Let me try it.”
My eyes shot out a possessive glance. This vampire was mine. Like the pages of hungry lust that kept all those teenagers enthralled, I clutched my bag tightly and refused to let it go.
“Sorry, buddy,” I managed to blubber out before returning to my unbridled sipping, “it wouldn’t be responsible for me to give you any of this right now.”
I thought pulling out the responsibility card might do the trick, but before I could finish, Husband had already approached me and snagged the baggie from my clumsy grasp. One sip said it all.
“You’re drinking this?” He laughed, knowing how much trouble I was already in. “Enjoy, sweetie,” he coaxed, giving me back my vampire. I was in for a visit with delight, followed by dizziness, and then a pounding headache, cursing myself for being led astray by a vampire, knowing I should just stick to wine.
Still, the dance of flavors remained a bright and happy memory, and as I reached for my emergency stash of Tylenol, I can only say what all the love-torn protagonist of vampire sagas say: for that vampire, I’d do it all again…
If you want to live it up, make it in a tall glass (rim should be coated with salt)
3-4 ice cubes
pinch of salt
2 ounces tequila
4 ounces 'Viuda de Sanchez' (or any other "Sangrita" mix)
grapefruit soda drink**
Squeeze lime juice over ice. Add pinch of salt and tequila and sangrita. Fill remaining amount with grapefruit soda
*If you can't find Viuda de Sanchez, substitute it with a good quality Orange juice, a lime, and Pico de Gallo seasoning. Note: It won't make your drink red like Viuda de Sanchez mix will though.
**if you don't have grapefruit soda, use grapefruit juice and seltzer water.